A former player and president who has been volunteering at his sports club for decades has received a prestigious regional accolade.
Rutland sheep farmer George Morley was presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Award 2014 for his services to Oakham Rugby Club, at the Leicestershire Rugby Union dinner.
Mr Morley said he only discovered he had been nominated by his club as a ‘valued volunteer’ when an invitation to the Volunteer Recognition Evening at Belgrave RFC dropped through his front door.
“So it was a great surprise to receive a pair of England Rugby cufflinks as a reward for being a Valued Volunteer at Oakham,” he said.
“Then later in the evening it was an even greater surprise to be given the Leicester Rugby Union’s Outstanding Volunteer Award.
“I feel very flattered and humble and I thank those who nominated me.
“Amateur Rugby Clubs like Oakham rely on unpaid volunteers and most never get recognised unless someone takes the trouble to make a recommendation.
“We should remember this and make sure names are put forward when the opportunity arises.”
Mr Morley, of Teigh, played for the first team for 14 years, was captain from 1960-66 and President from 1999-2009. He also looked after the club’s grounds.
The 79-year-old stalwart looks after Oakham Rugby Club’s life members, vice presidents, international tickets, match sponsors and advertising boards, while still farming part time.
Earlier this year his service to the rugby club and the community of Teigh, where he also volunteers in many guises, were recognised with a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mr Morley said: “This year marks my 80th birthday. For 61 years of those I have been part of Oakham RFC where I have found fun and friendship since I played my first game in September 1953.”